The Reveal Theatre Group were at Vale Park recently to present their “Game On – Bringing it Home to Football” interactive workshop to groups of 13-15 year old from the Vale Academy.
Reveal is a specialist provider of applied theatre techniques and documentary style performances and their workshops use a subtle intervention approach to explore complex issues affecting British society with the aim of promoting open-mindedness, tolerance and understanding.
Game-on is their flagship programme which tackles the issues of the Far Right and Islamist extremism and has been delivered to schools in the Midlands and North West for over 10 years.
The Academy lads were presented with a raft of inconvenient truths and often dark subject matter, all with the aim of entertaining and informing. They also took part in various interactive group activities which aimed to demonstrate the points being made in the presentation.
These were intended to help them to understand how to show more generosity and tolerance to those of a different race, religion or nation identity and how to understand the process of radicalisation and how to keep themselves safe. They were also shown how to recognise and tackle fake news and posts on social media that can divide communities.
Tom Dunn from the U15s was one of the Academy lads who took part in the workshop. “It was a real eye opener” he said. “The presentations and activities were really interesting and demonstrated to us how close at hand extremism can be and how we have to do our best to keep safe at all times. “It was really worthwhile.”
The Reveal Artistic Associate Dominic Meir, who coordinated the workshop was full of praise for the Academy lads. “They all focussed and took part in the workshop really well and I’m sure benefitted from the experience.” He added. “Our objective is to raise awareness, emphasise safeguarding and empower in order to take action. “I’m sure from the response that the young players provided that we succeeded in our aims.”
The Game On workshop is part of a series of regular Education and Life skills Workshops organised for the Academy players by Head of Education Safeguarding and Welfare Chris Taylor.